The event took place on Sunday, September the 23rd, 2001 in front of a sold out crowd of 13,855 fans at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jennifer Holidays kicked off Unforgiven 2001 with a strong rendition of America The Beautiful after a tribute was shown dedicated to the lives lost in the tragic events of the September 11 attacks. Jim Ross stated on commentary (alongside Paul Heyman) that this would be one of the most emotional night’s in pay-per view history, and he may in fact have been right as the crowd in attendance was loud throughout the show.
The Dudley Boyz vs Big Show & Spike Dudley vs The Hurricane & Lance Storm vs The Hardy Boyz:
4 Team Elimination Tag Match for the WCW Tag Team Championships
The Dudley Boyz win as D-Von covered Matt Hardy to retain their WCW Tag Team Titles. A smartly booked match and a great way to kick off the show, the four teams involved fought for nearly fifteen minutes with the action never really letting up. This contest had to set the pace for the rest of the event and it did so in spades.
Raven vs Perry Saturn: Singles Match
Perry Saturn defeated Raven via pinfall in what was the second shortest match of the night. While Terri Runnels was at ringside accompanying Raven, the fact that these two were fighting over a mop really didn’t do anything for these two men, not to mention the time given at only five minutes.
Christian vs Edge: Intercontinental Championship Match
Christian defeated Edge via pinfall, thus marking this the first time in his career that he has won the Intercontinental Title. A greatly executed match by both long time best friends, Christian picked up the victory over champion Edge in a long and hard fought bout that got the night back on track after the previous train wreck that had gone on before.
Brother’s of Destruction vs Kronik: WCW Tag Team Championship Match
Brother’s of Destruction retained their WCW tag team titles, as they defeated challenging tag team Kronik. Even with Steven Richards at ringside, he was unable to aid much to the challenging team, as Kane & Undertaker posed too much of a threat and were looking to hold onto the tag team titles as long as possible. A decent back and forth match, infamous for the lackluster efforts from the team of Kronik, as well as the fact that they were out of the company about a month after this event. Problems aside, it did enough to keep what was an overall great edition of Unforgiven on track.
Rob Van Dam vs Chris Jericho: WWF Hardcore Championship Match
Rob Van Dam retained the WWF Hardcore title via pinfall after hitting Chris Jericho with a frog splash. A fantastic and hard hitting outing from Y2J and RVD, the crowd was into the match pretty much from start to finish and the right man went over on this night. A great contest that helped solidify the careers of both men at the time, as well as the prestige of the title that was up for grabs.
Shane McMahon & Booker T vs The Rock: Handicap Match for the WCW Heavyweight Championship
The Rock pinned Booker T to become the new WCW Heavyweight Championship, despite the latter’s best efforts along with Shane McMahon to thwart The Rock’s attempt at becoming champion. A fun co-main event that saw ‘The Brahma Bull’ pull out all the stops to reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship, thus continuing to elevate ‘The Great One’s’ career to new heights and keep the night going in the right direction.
Rhyno vs Tajiri: WCW United States Championship Match
Rhyno defeated Tajiri to become the new WCW United States Champion in the shortest match of the night at only four minutes. This match served as a buffer to cool off the fans in attendance before the main event, which caused it to suffer as well as the allotted time. Both men could’ve potentially done more given the sheer size difference of the two, however, it served its purpose as a buffer for the final match of the night.
Kurt Angle vs Stone Cold Steve Austin: WWF Championship Match
Kurt Angle defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin via submission to become the new WWF Champion, a rare site seeing ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ tapping out, but the right call to send the crowd home happy. It was the hometown of the Olympic gold medalist and the first live pay-per view since the tragic 9/11 attacks, when Jim Ross seemed the night being emotional, he could not have been further from the truth. The hero prevailed against The Alliance as the 13,00 in attendance celebrated along with Kurt Angle and his family, who were in attendance as well. Probably one of, if not, the finest edition’s of Unforgiven, it was a great night of great matches that were properly booked with a great beginning, middle, and end.